I just spent last weekend in Montevideo, and on Sunday did a cycling tour of the town.
Montevideo lures you onto a bike by being a relaxed, safe and cheap city in which to rent a bike. Perhaps it's the legal weed that makes the streets calm, drivers courteous and the general vibe tranquil, or then again maybe it is because in comparision with the lion feeding frenzy that is trying to get around Buenos Aires at any time, day or night, every other city feels like an off the map rural town.
Once on the bike, miles of riverside cycle paths entice you out along the coast road, and if you are lucky you will get a tail wind to blow you along most of the way, keeping that ardous pedalling to a minimum. Of course, I was not lucky and had a head wind. It'll give me an appetite I told myself! Why do people always fool themselves into thinking that suffering will be rewarded? Must be some religious hangover!
Anyway, just as I got near Punta Carretas I spotted a memorial to the holocaust and thought I'd stop by, say shalom, and look kosher. Who can really say what the reason was; perhaps not observing the Sabbath last week, or for the history buffs out there it might be the presence of a certain Austrian in my company, or maybe it was some other form of darker magic, but suddenly the chain came off my bike, and thereafter kept coming off the bike everytime I pedaled hard for the rest of the trip.
Every hill, bump, headwind and even once on a downhill when pedalling easy, the chain came off the crank. It was also one of those stupid bikes where you pedal backwards to break. Who ever thought that was a good idea was a complete idiot!
I've never hated a bike more in my life, and as a result I christianed it, "Grey Bastard".
Much swearing, many crashes and a lot of oil and grease on my hands later I arrived back at the hostal and promptly got a beer, then another, and then another.
I recommend cycling around Montevideo, it would probably be a very nice, relaxing and enjoyable experience if you only got a good bike!
If not, it'll provide great laughs for your cycling companions!